From the tip, it looked like this was going to be a complete mismatch against Kennesaw State. The Owls took four possessions to even get a shot up and seven possessions to score. The ’Noles jumped out to a 23-7 lead, and the rout, it seemed, was on.
Without Christ Koumadje (foot), Coach Hamilton began to experiment with lineups. Wyatt Wilkes played a few minutes. Five freshmen played together. The substitutions were all over the place.
The inexperience on FSU’s end allowed Al Skinner to get KSU’s flex offense going, and the Owls were able to stay in the game.
Coach Ham went back to the starters in an attempt to pad the 1st half lead, but by then it seemed FSU’s defensive miscues were contagious. The transition defense was slow. The fouls mounted. And too many shooters were lost in rotation.
However, Florida State just had too much offensive firepower for the Owls, taking a 54-42 lead at intermission.
Hopes that the 2nd half defense would improve were quickly dashed when the ’Noles lost Kennesaw State’s 53% 3-point shooter on two of the first three possessions.
Down the stretch it became apparent the players were ready for Thanksgiving. They kept up the highlight show on offense, while continuing to sleep walk on the other end.
The final was 98-79 FSU. The ’Noles improve to 4-0.
Phil Cofer matched his career-high with 21 points, while coming up a rebound shy of a double-double. Braian Angola had 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Terance Mann scored 13. CJ Walker had 12, and MJ Walker added 11 (all in the 1st half).
FSU has Thanksgiving Day off, before hosting The Citadel Friday night.